Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 56 (Aug. 10, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Hi Mom!
The wedding looks awesome! That's so exciting for Katelyn!! I got the "wedding invitation" a few days ago, and I have posted it up on my wall :) I also got the packages!! Thank you so much!!! Like you said, the knife wasn't the one I was thinking of, but I'm actually glad I got the one that I did. I've already used the can opener a couple times :P I'm also loving the juices. Very delicious. The dried apples were also a hit with my housemates, so all is well :)
Sorry about last week. It was kind of a race against time that I terribly lost, so I'm trying to do some better prioritizing this week. I thought 1 hr in the MTC was rough, but put report updating in the 1 hr and it turns into a little bit of a nightmare :P
The last two weeks have been SO great, though. We had Zone Interviews with President Clark a while ago, but he was short on time, so I was called in as one of the last and it seemed kind of rushed, but the advice he gave has been SO helpful. I think it would be helpful to us all, so I'll share with you. He told me to have more meaningful prayers and Sacrament experiences, and I've been trying SO hard. I literally starting tearing up during Sacrament yesterday thinking of all that Christ has done for me, and how little he asks of me in return. It's been a really big booster. Prayers have definitely gone up in quality as well. I think it really helps if I actually just picture myself kneeling before God in person, and speaking to Him my thanks and desires. It's helped to strengthen my faith so much, and I love the feeling of peace and approval that comes afterwards :)
In other news, we have some SUPER awesome investigators :D Roger Arcilla is 72, Josephine Dela Cruz is about 17 or 18, and Rommel Del Rosario is 20.
Tatay Arcilla used to work in Saudi Arabia on a construction crew, and was able to stay true to his Christian beliefs. He's accepted everything we've taught him, and has gone to church two weeks in a row. The first week, he noticed he was one of the only people with a mustache, and so he shaved his just to show more respect to the church. He can longer see well enough to read, but when we suggested we come by everyday and read for a few minutes with him, he got super happy and excited about the idea, so that's what we do :P He's just a super humble, genuine, kind old man. We're trying to prepare him for baptism on the 29th.
Josephine Dela Cruz is the girl friend of one of the members in our ward, and she already seems to know more about the gospel than her boyfriend :P She's always really
​excited and eager to receive the lessons, and tries SO hard to feel the Spirit. She said that after she prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, she starting "floating." She's taking that as a definite "YES" that it's all true. She's also moving towards the 29th for Baptism!
Rommel Del Rosario is a new investigator, and we've only been able to teach him twice, but I definitely like what I've seen in him already. He always has lots of comments and is really good at comparing or "likening" the things we teach him to his or our daily lives. I love how he pieced the Book of Mormon and Bible together :P He said the Bible is sort of like Elder Fresnoza, my Filipino companion. He's a native and has been around for a long time, and so can help me with stuff that maybe I'm not too familiar with. He said that I'm sort of like the Book of Mormon, in that I'm a little new in the Philippines, but come from a First World Country, so there are things the Elder Fresnoza doesn't know or understand that I could help him with. So basically, even though the Bible and the Book of Mormon come from two different backgrounds, they still are extremely important to each other in strengthening and adding upon the truths each contains. It was awesome to hear coming from a New Investigator :D We have him goaled for the 12th of September.
Cooking seems to have moved a little stronger in to my mission life as well these past two weeks ;) Two Saturdays ago, our ward held our own little cooking show for the area. Basically we just handed out a bunch of invitations to people to come a free food processing course, where they could learn how to make all of these different frozen foods and such and use it to start their own little businesses. We were able to talk to them all and invite them to listen to us as well, or to attend church with us on Sundays. We haven't been able to return to any of them just because we don't spend a lot of time in their area, but we're hoping we'll see some of them at church next Sunday :)
Today we also had a Zone activity, which was a lot of fun for my "inner-chef," if I've actually got one of those :P It was sort of like Chopped where we have mystery baskets and have to use all of the ingredients in our dishes. My group made my Filipino specialty which is just a basic adobo, except we added some Ginger to it this time. I also just used the remaining ingredients last minute to make a cream of Mushroom stew with pork, chicken broth, tomatoes, and ginger, and chilis. It was actually super funny how delicious it was :P What we ended up doing when all of the food was cooked, was a BOODLE FIGHT!! :D :D We just spread out a bunch of banana leaves on the ground, dumped a bunch of rice on it, dumped the ulams on the rice, and went crazy. No spoons, forks, pots or pans. We didn't even use any plates :P Sounds kin of unsanitary, but it was SO much fun :) We'll definitely have to do it when I get home :D

Anyway, that's all I have time for today. Thank you for your love and prayers!!
Love you!!

Elder Syphus

Zone Activity

Cooking party!

All the ulams. The stuff in the pot is my mushroom magic :P

HAving lunch :P

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